Most eating-related side effects of cancer treatments go away after the treatment ends. Sometimes side effects such as poor appetite, dry mouth, change in taste or smell,trouble swallowing, or significant weight loss may last for some time. If this happens to you, talk to your health care team and work out a plan to address the problem.
As you begin to feel better, you may have questions about eating a healthful diet. Just as you wanted to go into treatment with the necessary nutrient stores that your diet could give you, you’ll want to do the best for yourself at this important time. There’s very little research to suggest that the foods you eat will keep your cancer from coming back. But eating well will help you regain your strength, rebuild tissue, and feel better overall. And certainly, what you eat can help reduce risk for other cancers.
Suggestions for healthy eating after cancer
Check with your doctor for any food or diet restrictions.
Ask your dietitian to help you create a nutritious, balanced eating plan.
Choose a variety of foods from all the food groups. Try to eat at least 5 to 7 servings a day of fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits and dark-green and deep-yellow vegetables.
Eat plenty of high-fiber foods, such as whole grain breads and cereals.
Buy a new fruit, vegetable, low-fat food, or whole grain product each time you shop for groceries.
Decrease the amount of fat in your meals by baking or broiling foods.
Choose low-fat milk and dairy products.
Avoid salt-cured, smoked, and pickled foods.
If you choose to drink, drink alcohol only occasionally.
If you are overweight, consider losing weight by reducing the amount of fat in your diet and increasing your activity. Choose activities that you enjoy. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.